Re: RARA-AVIS: At the Movies... (Gone, Baby, Gone)

Date: 27 Oct 2007

In a message dated 10/27/07 10:47:30 AM, writes:

> On the other hand, I'm pleased to report that GONE, BABY, GONE is 
> pretty good stuff.
> I've had my fun over the years poking fun at the source, a sterling 
> example of hard-boiled bloat I simply found LONG, BABY, LONG. But 
> first time director Ben Affleck cut out plenty of narrative fat from 
> Lehane's book, and has delivered one of the best made-for-adults P.I. 
> flicks  in a long, long time; a lean, mean directorial debut that I 
> don't think anyone saw coming.
> His kid brother Casey, in the lead role as P.I. Patrick Kenzie, looks 
> about twelve, but he pulls it off with surprising effectiveness. The 
> showdown in the bar with the locals is a classic -- the sorta scene 
> that in most flicks usually ends up in an excess of violence and 
> stuntmen working overtime and scenery smashing gets turned on its 
> head; this is hard-boiled reduced to its essence. Not the willingness 
> to loudly go at it, but to quietly stand up to the threat of it.
> Both Bubba and Angie's characters have also been stripped down to 
> their essence -- thank god -- and the stories moves quickly and stays 
> focussed on the hunt for a missing little girl, culminating in a 
> satisfyingly noirish ending that recalls CHINATOWN. Favourably.
> And the feel for Boston is dead-on, more THE DEPARTED than SPENSER 
> FOR HIRE, thankfully. The language, the attitude, the claustrophobic 
> vibe of guilt and grit and working class dreams that get broken 
> before they even start  -- it all works. I'm not sure if rookie 
> director Affleck can ever pull this off again -- being a Boston boy 
> himself no doubt helped immeasurably -- but this is a good one. Not 
> just adequate,  or "too too bad," but arguably one of the best P.I. 
> films ever made, and certainly the best in far too long.
> I liked it just as much. the film addresses Kenzie's youthful appearance
head on and is in fact a contributing factor to the conflict in the bar you mention. Kenzie's reaction to the situation is realistic and appropriate

John Lau

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